There’s a certain sense of community in a small town, I was always told when I lived in a bigger city. This was presented to me as one of the advantages, perhaps the big advantage, of small town life over city life.
Well, it’s true. There is a certain sense of community here in Limon. I’ll provide a couple of anecdotes as examples. Not proof, mind you, as these are just anecdotes and are therefore, well, anecdotal.
We’re doing a lot of work on our house right now, including redoing the foundation walls of our cellar. This was necessary as said walls were beginning to cave in. I prefer my walls to be of the non-caving-in variety, and hence the work. For consideration of the two proffered anecdotes, it is necessary to understand two byproducts of this work: 1) my cellar for a period of time was open to the public in a very literal sense, and 2) there are large piles of dirt around my house.
Now, the anecdotes:
Anecdote the first:
We had left for a few days to go to South Dakota for my ordination examination. Upon my return, I discovered some beer cans and assorted other paraphernalia indicating that some of my neighbors had been taking advantage of the non-secured nature of the cellar for some carousing.
Talking to some neighbors about this state of affairs, my wife was told not to be too concerned about such nocturnal comings and goings. “People are curious”, she was informed. People have a sense of community, you see, and so if they spend some time in your cellar while you’re out of town, don’t be too concerned. We’re all family here.
Anecdote the second:
The other day I noticed a backhoe out my office window. Of itself, this was not to be wondered at, since backhoes and cement trucks and the like have been regular guests in the Powell family backyard of late. But this backhoe was smaller, and of a different color than the one that had been around. It looked familiar. As I watched it, I realized it belonged to one of my neighbors just down the road. The backhoe usually sat in his backyard (another charming aspect of small town life, the presence of heavy machinery in the yard). My neighbor was doing some landscaping and decided to help himself to some of my spare dirt.
Please don’t misunderstand. I have dirt a-plenty right now. I am going to have to pay someone some amount of money to do something with all of this dirt. So I would not object to the neighbors helping themselves. But in the city one is more used to being asked by neighbors before they come onto your property and help themselves to whatever is lying about.
That is, of course, unless they’re thieves. But thieves don’t usually work in broad daylight under cover of backhoes that are usually parked just four houses down. No, these were not thieves. Just neighbors.
See, that’s that sense of community again. Share and share alike.